Invocation:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Grant me the courage to change the things I can change
And grant me the wisdom to know the difference.

Counselling and Psychotherapy

I see adults for one to one counselling and psychotherapy

I have done extensive training in several of the major modalities of psychotherapy (see ‘About Pernille’ for a list of my qualifications). I have increasingly realised that there is no “one size fits all” way of practicing therapy. I very much focus on the individual to identify what is needed and adapt my style accordingly. Having a wide repertoire also means that different approaches can be used at different times during the process. I will always be person led, and view therapy as a collaborative effort. I am neither prescriptive nor a “blank screen”.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy literally means to ‘nurse the soul’, deriving its name from the ancient Greeks. Another name for soul is psyche, what we commonly take to mean the mental and emotional part of ourselves.  The psyche is made up of conscious and unconscious elements which each influence our thoughts, perceptions, experiences and behavioural patterns. Sometimes we know why and when we express ourselves in certain ways and sometimes we seem to say or do things that are “out of character” or don’t make sense.

For me, psychotherapy is highly collaborative and relational. We will together enquire into the difficulties and distress you are experiencing. We will improve your understanding of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, their origins and purposes. The exploration of early relationships will often cast light on present difficulties. We will also explore more appropriate ways of coping, reframe ways of thinking and facilitate behavioural change. Insight is said to be the first step towards change and can sometimes itself lead to relief and acceptance of what is. Having ones feelings understood and respected increases self-respect and a sense of worth.

Psychotherapy is a journey of self discovery; when we know who we truly are, rather than what we have been conditioned to be, we are in a much better position to make and implement choices which are true to ourselves thereby reducing tension and internal conflict.

What happens during psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy takes place in a private and confidential setting where you will be encouraged to explore thoughts and feelings in a context different to most every-day situations. The setting and regularity of meetings as well as our therapeutic relationship will be the container within which you will be free to express whatever is on your mind. What you say will be treated with respect, impartiality and compassion. As trust builds and our therapeutic relationship deepens I will facilitate your journey towards insight and change through gentle questioning and informed interpretation. Making things conscious helps to create a fuller and more accurate picture of who you really are and the meaning of the difficulties and distress experienced.

Psychotherapy is an interactive and collaborative process and you will be encouraged to actively engage in it. Psychotherapy is not coaching or advice or abdication of responsibility for one’s self.

Occasionally I may invite you to engage in mindfulness meditation and relaxation practices.

Can you benefit?

You can benefit from psychotherapy if you are willing to look at yourself and consider that you are, at least partly, responsible for the problems in your life and are motivated enough to put into practice the insights you gain.

How long does it take?

It is impossible to give an accurate estimate of how long psychotherapy will take as it depends entirely on the circumstances of the individual. It is not a quick fix to emotional distress but rather a process. It takes time to build relationship and trust which are the foundation for change.  Having said that, it is up to the individual to evaluate how far they want to go and it is useful to have regular reviews.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Different people use the words counselling and psychotherapy in different ways, so there is no commonly agreed definition. Counselling is often considered to be shorter term and can be useful to alleviate the symptoms of a specific situation whereas psychotherapy tends to be more in depth, dealing with multiple deep rooted issues. Psyhcotherapists generally undergo longer and more rigorous training and are therefore seen to be able to work more deeply with a wider range of issues. As a qualified  psychotherapist I am trained to offer both counselling and psychotherapy.